Rethinking Your Business Plan? Be Sure to Include This

If you’re wise, you’ll be rethinking your business plan right now. We’re in the midst of a significant disruption of business, and every business is affected.

Do you find yourself reacting to what is happening day-to-day because of all the uncertainty? Creating a new plan, instead of reacting, is a more effective way of managing this disruption.

That plan doesn’t have to be 5 years or even 1 year into the future. In fact, I recommend something quite short-term, 3 months, to plant you firmly in the present.

I’m guiding my own clients in development of their 3-month plans. I’ve created a 3-month plan for my business too. This planning creates an opening to look at immediate opportunities, and to be creative and innovative about new opportunities or pivots for your business.

The bakery with a hot table that now sells farm-fresh vegetables. The app developed by a biotech company to track new cases. The sharing of customer service folks with an online business to keep their people employed. All these creative pivots came out of short-term planning.

Are you stalled because you feel you have to have it all figured out and that doesn’t seem possible, even for the next 3 months? Let’s be real: this situation is new to everyone, and we’re all in the process of figuring out what’s next.

That said, it doesn’t mean doing nothing is the remedy. You can ask for good mentoring from an experienced business person, someone like me and others who’ve been through ups and downs.

You can also ask good questions of your clients and prospects. Be creative in how you could address what they need. Think and feel your way through your options.

It’s time to be resourceful, and planning will help put a clearer direction on your days. It’s the planning that is clarifying just as much as, if not more than, the plan.

A short-term plan doesn’t mean that you don’t look at the longer-term implications of your plan, especially financially. Do that too before you commit to your new 3-month plan.

But how do you create a new plan, even a 3-month one, that isn’t just one big reaction? You and your business could be sent far off track by a plan that just looks at what’s in front of you right now. It can make it even harder to recover.

That’s where a focus on your business’ impact comes in. Your Impact Purpose is a single statement that is high-level, overarching. It’s more than mission, more than purpose, even more than your Why. It’s a dynamic interplay between you/your business and the contribution you’re making.

Your Impact Purpose is where you and your business meet the world and contribute to making it better for all of us. Just what we need right now. And honestly? We always need that exchange between self and others.

Your Impact Purpose is rooted firmly in your values, so a focus on impact means you stay true to what’s important to you.

With your Impact Purpose as your guide, you can shift plans quickly if need be, and still stay on track. How your impact unfolds in your business doesn’t have to follow just one path. That’s why it’s such an effective focus in highly changeable times like these.

It can be scary to re-examine where your business is going. Running projected financials if trends continue may take some deep breaths to contemplate.

If your impact scares you, you may have some difficulty dealing with the rapid changes you are facing. I know my own fears of visibility kick up whenever I increase my impact.

You don’t have to let any of that stop you. This is an opportunity to reimagine what your future and the world’s future can look like.

When you do, you can take that opportunity to reimagine the role you can play as a leader. I find myself braver than I’ve ever been in being present to ways I can support and inspire you with my own leadership, even though I’m still afraid of being more visible. That may be true for you too: you’re also seeing ways to serve your clients, and doing it with courage.

Would you like to have a guiding light for your business right now? You can. Clarify your Impact Purpose, and use it to pull you forward.

The future may not be looking the way you thought it would. That doesn’t mean it’s not an opportunity for your business to have more impact. It’s an opportunity for you to lead in new ways.

When you sit down to rethink your business plans, what’s guiding you?